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FBG Movie Club: The Last Black Man in San Francisco vs American Factory due 2/3

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I liked A Simple Plan more than I even remember as I filtered it through the movie club lens.  That said, the ending still does rub me the wrong way, even though it makes sense for the story (mostly talking about the scene by the plane).   Since I am really not that familiar with noir, one question that I did have as I was watching the movie was: 

How common is it for the dynamic of the brother/brother and especially when one seemed to be on the slower end of the intellectual spectrum in this genre?     

One of the main things that I loved about the movie and the tension was that underlying pain and history between the brothers that kept resurfacing in different ways throughout the movie.  Also, was Fonda a twist on the "femme fatale" role as she fed him a couple of the ideas that that went south and lead to more problems and death? 

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I think I am going to dig a little deeper into this subgenre the more I read about it and see some of the lists presented here and online.  Like I said - it seems right up my alley, but I don't know why I haven't seen more from the genre.  I think of the usual top 20-30 I see, I have only watched 3?:  Sunset Blvd, Maltese Falcon, The Killing.  I just order a couple more - not a ton seem to be streaming or available on bluray through the library though.  

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16 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Sorry, I didn't see this before.  I don't have an answer, but was wondering if Amazon has a month-to-month option.  I would probably be worth it for these two, plus whatever we add for next month?

I always pimp going to the library, but not sure how feasible of an option that is around your area.  

No prob. I have been flirting with a subscription, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. The library is a good idea. I used to get lots of my music from there.

On the movies, I watched them both yesterday. Only then, did I realized that The Killing was the movie that you recommended to me after discussing Reservoir Dogs earlier (last year?). Anyways, I agree that it hit a lot of the points that I thought were original to RD (e.g. out-of-time sequence, etc.). Great flick.

I'll add my overall thoughts a little later. I need to prep for the NFL games now.

But, I will say: 👍👍

 

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12 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I think I am going to dig a little deeper into this subgenre the more I read about it and see some of the lists presented here and online.  Like I said - it seems right up my alley, but I don't know why I haven't seen more from the genre.  I think of the usual top 20-30 I see, I have only watched 3?:  Sunset Blvd, Maltese Falcon, The Killing.  I just order a couple more - not a ton seem to be streaming or available on bluray through the library though.  

I would say Double Indemnity, The Third Man and Out of the Past are the 3 that you should start with. They really nail down the noir genre.

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28 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I would say Double Indemnity, The Third Man and Out of the Past are the 3 that you should start with. They really nail down the noir genre.

Seen Third Man, so that was a miss on my list.  I will add Out of the Past now.  

Right now the movies coming in are Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, and I forgot that I had In a Lonely Place already at home in my Criterion pile.  I also have Gilda coming in because that was one of the few on the list that were blruay/Criterion and just on dvd.  

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7 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Seen Third Man, so that was a miss on my list.  I will add Out of the Past now.  

Right now the movies coming in are Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, and I forgot that I had In a Lonely Place already at home in my Criterion pile.  I also have Gilda coming in because that was one of the few on the list that were blruay/Criterion and just on dvd.  

That will give you a pretty strong base for noir. 

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46 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

No prob. I have been flirting with a subscription, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. The library is a good idea. I used to get lots of my music from there.

On the movies, I watched them both yesterday. Only then, did I realized that The Killing was the movie that you recommended to me after discussing Reservoir Dogs earlier (last year?). Anyways, I agree that it hit a lot of the points that I thought were original to RD (e.g. out-of-time sequence, etc.). Great flick.

I'll add my overall thoughts a little later. I need to prep for the NFL games now.

But, I will say: 👍👍

 

yeah, and you live in a big city so should totally check out that library streaming service 80s is always pimpin

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2 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

yeah, and you live in a big city so should totally check out that library streaming service 80s is always pimpin

Hold hold ... the library offers streaming now?

Gah. I'm pretty dumb on this stuff, it seems.

I'm intrigued. 

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7 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

Hold hold ... the library offers streaming now?

Gah. I'm pretty dumb on this stuff, it seems.

I'm intrigued. 

sorry, @KarmaPolice was the pimp. several posts in the mid-20s pgs of this thread. it's called Kanopy. i think if you go to their site, you can find out if your public library carries it. my town was too small i guess

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4 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

sorry, @KarmaPolice was the pimp. several posts in the mid-20s pgs of this thread. it's called Kanopy. i think if you go to their site, you can find out if your public library carries it.

I found it. Looks sweet. I have about 15 choices for my area, but I need to get my library card. Will do this week. Thnx.

 

Quote

my town was too small i guess

You are approaching this with the wrong perspective, my pal.

Your town is not too small; you are just too large.

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3 hours ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

I found it. Looks sweet. I have about 15 choices for my area, but I need to get my library card. Will do this week. Thnx.

You just need to make sure that your "home" library is the same as one that is available on the Kanopy website.  

It's a quality service with interesting options, but when I posted that, I was mostly just saying that you can order blurays to watch for these club ideas too.  

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Finally watched The Simple Plan- liked it better than I remember. I think it pairs well with The Killing as far noir and neo noir go. 

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9 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

How common is it for the dynamic of the brother/brother and especially when one seemed to be on the slower end of the intellectual spectrum in this genre?  

Good Time is a recent film that uses this setup.  It was directed by the Safdie Brothers in their hyper intense style.  Robert Pattinson is excellent as the less slow brother.

It's streaming on Prime and is more noir than A Simple Plan.

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10 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

I liked A Simple Plan more than I even remember as I filtered it through the movie club lens.  That said, the ending still does rub me the wrong way, even though it makes sense for the story (mostly talking about the scene by the plane).   Since I am really not that familiar with noir, one question that I did have as I was watching the movie was: 

How common is it for the dynamic of the brother/brother and especially when one seemed to be on the slower end of the intellectual spectrum in this genre? '

 Great question- I am drawing a blank on any other examples of this. It doesn't seem to be a common trope.     

One of the main things that I loved about the movie and the tension was that underlying pain and history between the brothers that kept resurfacing in different ways throughout the movie.  Also, was Fonda a twist on the "femme fatale" role as she fed him a couple of the ideas that that went south and lead to more problems and death? 

She was a definite femme fatale. Early on she seemed to be counter to that- pure and sweet, "we don't need the money". However, once she saw the money and began thinking about it, she absolutely pushed her husband into spots where things became worse and worse. B

 

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8 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Good Time is a recent film that uses this setup.  It was directed by the Safdie Brothers in their hyper intense style.  Robert Pattinson is excellent as the less slow brother.

It's streaming on Prime and is more noir than A Simple Plan.

:thumbup:   Had this on in my queue.  

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

 

You are right - I guess I was thinking of something slightly different for the definition of femme fatale, and she totally fits after I looked up the definition.  Most of the time it was her coming up with the plans like getting the 3rd guy on tape and putting back some of the $.   That was a devastating bit of dialogue she gave Mr. Paxton when they were talking about putting things back the way they were.  

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Anybody having trouble with The Killing on Prime? It wont play for me tonight, and I forgot that I let someone borrow my copy.  :(

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17 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

Anybody having trouble with The Killing on Prime? It wont play for me tonight, and I forgot that I let someone borrow my copy.  :(

Ever get it to work? 

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18 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:
51 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Ever get it to work? 

Not last night.  Will try tonight.  

It worked for me on Saturday.  There are multiple Amazon listings for the same movie. 

This is the one I used https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Sterling-Hayden/dp/B07V5NR2RS/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1N2SEQ8VASR54&keywords=the+killing&qid=1575325431&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011&rnid=2470954011&rps=1&s=instant-video&sprefix=the+killing%2Cinstant-video%2C220&sr=1-5

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Anyone have any new thoughts or did football and holidays kind of wipe everyone out? 

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

Anyone have any new thoughts or did football and holidays kind of wipe everyone out? 

"Eh, what's the difference?"

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I guess with deadline passed, can discuss spoilers now.

I thought the movies worked well as a pairing.  Some similarities that reflect common film noir elements, but also some key differences too.  Both feature characters whose greed led them to believe that they could control their circumstances.  And endings are similar with circumstances eventually going beyond their control, and protagonist losing the loot.  And both have the femme fatales helping to push things out of control (in The Killing, that role is played by Sherry who had one of the great lines: "It isn't fair. I never had anybody but you. Not a real husband. Not even a man. Just a bad joke without a punch line."

But The Killing had more of the nihilism common in the detective film noirs.  A Simple Plan has more of the tragic caught up in circumstances.  If I could compare it to a couple of Bogie films, The Killing is to A Simple Plan as The Maltese Falcon is to The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

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5 minutes ago, Don Quixote said:

I guess with deadline passed, can discuss spoilers now.

I thought the movies worked well as a pairing.  Some similarities that reflect common film noir elements, but also some key differences too.  Both feature characters whose greed led them to believe that they could control their circumstances.  And endings are similar with circumstances eventually going beyond their control, and protagonist losing the loot.  And both have the femme fatales helping to push things out of control (in The Killing, that role is played by Sherry who had one of the great lines: "It isn't fair. I never had anybody but you. Not a real husband. Not even a man. Just a bad joke without a punch line."

But The Killing had more of the nihilism common in the detective film noirs.  A Simple Plan has more of the tragic caught up in circumstances.  If I could compare it to a couple of Bogie films, The Killing is to A Simple Plan as The Maltese Falcon is to The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

Well said. You are definitely making the slideshow with that.

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2 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

Anyone have any new thoughts or did football and holidays kind of wipe everyone out? 

i have new thoughts all the time. just recently i had a thought of how maybe some of my old thoughts weren't as fresh as the ones i'm having now

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Comments on a Simple Plan (will finish The Killing tonight):

The biggest takeaway for me is the frustration watching the events unfold - the whole "you idiot" feeling as they make one bad decision after another. To me, that means it succeeded as a Noir,  where things unexpectedly spinning out of control is often a key plot element. You wanted to say "don't mention a plane to the cop" but they do. You want to say to Paxton "no, don't listen to her - don't go back to the plane", but he does. You want to say "leave the farmer alone" but they don't.  Etc. 

I loved Fonda's part in the movie. An alternate take on the femme fatale. She doesn't really have any angle or master plan, but it's her suggestions that start everything unraveling, and keep them chaotic. She has just enough influence over her husband that he'll listen to her. Someone stronger might say "no, we're doing it my way" and that's that, but Paxton is not someone who leads - he takes what life gives him. He'll wait forever for a promotion/raise, he's content with the simple life they have, etc. 

I saw this years ago, but had forgotten it, so this almost a new viewing. I liked the Fargo feel of winter, small town, quirky characters, and I thought it very well cast and acted. Billy Bob Thorton was really good, and to me, this was some of Paxton's best work. Great movie.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 10:17 AM, KarmaPolice said:

I liked A Simple Plan more than I even remember as I filtered it through the movie club lens.  That said, the ending still does rub me the wrong way, even though it makes sense for the story (mostly talking about the scene by the plane).   Since I am really not that familiar with noir, one question that I did have as I was watching the movie was: 

How common is it for the dynamic of the brother/brother and especially when one seemed to be on the slower end of the intellectual spectrum in this genre?     

One of the main things that I loved about the movie and the tension was that underlying pain and history between the brothers that kept resurfacing in different ways throughout the movie.  Also, was Fonda a twist on the "femme fatale" role as she fed him a couple of the ideas that that went south and lead to more problems and death? 

I was waiting to circle back to this until we were free to comment...

Regarding the brother/brother dynamic, I see it differently than Ilov80s does, in that I think it was a play on a pretty common trope--that the 'weak' and 'strong' characters end up in reverse places by the end of the story. The concept of brothers on opposing ends of the spectrum is as old as the Old Testament story of Cain and Abel. In fact, I don't know if a good brother v. brother story can be told without them being opposites in some way; that's where the tension you mention comes from. In A Simple Plan, the reversal was a great slow burn, and Thornton and Paxton both really nailed their respective changes.

As for Bridget Fonda's character, I got a Lady Macbeth feel from her, though unlike in the Shakespeare play, her involvement grew over the course of the events in the story, which actually fit very well with the noir story.

 

Not sure where to begin with The Killing, other than I had confused it in my memory with The Asphalt Jungle. I've seen parts of The Killing before, so this was the first time I watched it all the way through. I had to remind myself a couple of times that this was a Kubrick movie, as some of the shots seemed less stylized than I'm used to from him.  That didn't distract from any of it, just seemed a little out of character. I also felt that some of the narration was unnecessary, but then useful in a couple of others, so overall it balanced out for me.

As for the movie itself, I liked the cuts from one perspective to another to give a multifaceted picture of the heist, plus there were other side angles that gave the whole story a lot of unexplored depth, i.e., Johnny's prison connections to secure a motel room and hire the chess goon that caused the distraction that got him into the counting room, plus something that seems to have been completely overlooked is the character of Marvin's homosexual feelings towards Johnny.  There's a scene just before Johnny leaves to start his part of the plan where Marvin tells Johnny something to the effect of "let's run away together, hide from the world and sort things out. I'm not sure if there's another way to take that exchange, and I don't know if anyone else picked up on that.

The casting was pitch-perfect, though Timothy Carey was a little distracting as he seemed to not want to open his mouth while delivering his lines. Nevertheless, when he used the n-word on the parking lot attendant, I was more shocked than when Tibbs slapped Endicott in In the Heat of the Night. Speaking of the parking lot attendant, a quick :thumbup: to that actor, James Edwards, whose other notable roles among many before his untimely death at age 51 include The Caine Mutiny, Pork Chop Hill, The Manchurian Candidate and Patton.

 

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Kola Kwariani, who played the chess playing wrestler Maurice Oboukhoff in The Killing had a tragic death. From wiki:

Death

In February 1980, while entering the Chess and Checker Club, Kwariani was seriously injured after being assaulted by a group of teenagers. The incident was later described by Samuel Sloan: "Nick came in the downstairs entrance one evening when about five black youths were leaving. They bumped into each other. Words were exchanged. Nick never took any gruff from anybody and soon he was engaged in a fight with all five black kids at once. Nick probably could still have handled any one or two of them, but five were too many. Nick was beaten." He was then taken to a hospital, where he died at age 77.

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3 hours ago, Charlie Steiner said:

... plus something that seems to have been completely overlooked is the character of Marvin's homosexual feelings towards Johnny.  There's a scene just before Johnny leaves to start his part of the plan where Marvin tells Johnny something to the effect of "let's run away together, hide from the world and sort things out. I'm not sure if there's another way to take that exchange, and I don't know if anyone else picked up on that.

...

Yeah. I caught this too, but I had to find a quote to make sure that I was hearing it right.

Quote

Marvin Unger: You've had a lot of rough breaks and made a few mistakes; but, after today, the good Lord willing, you'll be a new man. A rich man. And that can make a lot of difference. Got a lot of life ahead of you. A lot of people to meet. People of quality and substance.

Johnny Clay: What are you gettin' at?

Marvin Unger: Wouldn't it be great if we could just go away, the two of us, and let the old world take a couple of turns, and have a chance to take stock of things. It can be pretty serious and terrible, particularly if its not the right person. Getting married, I mean.

The last sentence, "Getting married, I mean." - is still kinda confusing me though. Is Marvin trying to say that he is suggesting a marriage-type relationship between them, or is he deflecting to marriage in general... away from the same sex relationship implied earlier?

 

Minor comments:

Maurice had some of my favorite lines in The Killing. One in particular that stood out was this:

Quote

Johnny Clay: Like the man said, "Life is like a glass of tea." Huh?

Maurice: Oh, Johnny, my friend, you never were very bright; but, I love you anyway.

Maurice seemed to be the only one close to Johnny that spoke to him on equal terms. He was a true "pro" as well. And, the irony of having the "hired muscle" be the most well thought and spoken of the crew was pretty nice as well.

E.g.:

Quote

Maurice: Would it be out of order for me to ask for what it is you are willing to pay such a price to see me demonstrate my talents? I would imagine, it is for more than just your own personal entertainment.

Quote

Maurice: I'd like you to call this number and ask for Mr. Stillman. Tell him that Maurice requires his services.

Fisher: Sounds pretty mysterious. What's it all about?

Maurice: There are some things, my dear Fisher, which bear not much looking into. You have undoubtedly heard of the Siberian goatherd who tried to discover the true nature of the sun; he stared up at the heavenly body until it made him blind. There are many things of this sort, including love, and death, and... maybe we'll discuss this later today. Please remember to make that call if I'm not back at 6:30.

As best I recall, Maurice fared pretty well in the end. He was hauled away by the cops for brawling, but unless Johnny squeals, his part in the plan will never be detected. Did anyone else fare better in the end? I'm not sure, but I don't think so.

 

More later.

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Between the 2 movies, things didn’t work out well for very many people. I think there’s only 2 characters that ever appear on screen who aren’t killed and they end up with no money and an incredible guilt that is to ruin their marriage and likely their lives. 

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9 hours ago, Don Quixote said:

I guess with deadline passed, can discuss spoilers now.

I thought the movies worked well as a pairing.  Some similarities that reflect common film noir elements, but also some key differences too.  Both feature characters whose greed led them to believe that they could control their circumstances.  And endings are similar with circumstances eventually going beyond their control, and protagonist losing the loot.  And both have the femme fatales helping to push things out of control (in The Killing, that role is played by Sherry who had one of the great lines: "It isn't fair. I never had anybody but you. Not a real husband. Not even a man. Just a bad joke without a punch line."

But The Killing had more of the nihilism common in the detective film noirs.  A Simple Plan has more of the tragic caught up in circumstances.  If I could compare it to a couple of Bogie films, The Killing is to A Simple Plan as The Maltese Falcon is to The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

Also glad you thought they worked well together. I didn’t remember much about A Simple Plan than the bag of money element so while watching I was pleasantly surprised by how well I thought it was pairing.

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2 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

Between the 2 movies, things didn’t work out well for very many people. I think there’s only 2 characters that ever appear on screen who aren’t killed and they end up with no money and an incredible guilt that is to ruin their marriage and likely their lives. 

LOL. Sorry to laugh at such noir, but ...

 

Also, this is strong support for my, "Maurice for the WIN!"  (MftW) campaign.

I found a link to the script.

Quote

- These men are not gonna be in on the basic scheme. They're getting paid to perform certain definite duties at a certain definite time. And they're not cutting in on the take. They'll be paid a flat price to do a straight job.

- Well, if they don't know anything about the basic plan, about the job, then why are they doin' it?

- It's simple. These boys are straight hoods. They get paid in advance. Five grand for the one with the rifle, and 2,500 for the other.

- Where's this money comin' from?

- That's where Marvin comes in. He's getting the 7,500 for us, and he gets it back off the top.

So, at this point, it appears that Maurice is gonna get a cool 2.5K of Marvin's seed money before anything can go to hell.

Does it play out that way? (script)

Quote

- Maurice, could you use $2,500?

- It has a pleasant ring to the ear. Quite musical. What is it for?

- For taking care of half a dozen private #####. Racetrack cops. I want you to start a fight with the bartender at the track. The track cops will try to break it up. You keep 'em busy for as long as you can. Make 'em drag you out of the place. No gunplay. Strictly a muscle job.

- Would it be out of order for me to ask...for what it is that you are willing to pay such a price to see me demonstrate my talents? I would imagine it is for more than just your own personal entertainment.

 

- $2,500 is a lot of dough, Maurice. Part of it's for not asking questions.

That sounds not unreasonable. Still, I will probably go to jail, and jails I have found unpleasant. Food is very bad, company is poor, beds are too small.

Ah, it'll only be a disorderly conduct charge. Maybe 60 days, nothing worse. And if a man has a little money to spread around in the right places, he can be quite comfortable for his stay.

So, according to my memory and the script, it never shows him getting paid, but I think that it is safe to assume that he got him money before things went bad.

If that is the case, and Johnny was right about the punishment Mo would face, then, I say .... "Maurice for the WIN!" 😎

You go, Mo. 👍

 

back for more l8r.

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I have not voted yet, but I am not going to go any lower than a 4/5 for each.

The Killing is leaning slightly heavier towards a 5 at the moment, for little details that prolly should not matter. 

Example: Triumph Motorcycle Dealership in background.

As a MC dude, I love Triumphs. I built 2 cafe racers back in the 90's. Sold the last one in '15. The things used to be the premier affordable sport bike. My "Harley only" biker pals even tolerated them. Getting to see them featured in old movies (even as a store) is always a great time. Note: Brando in The Wild One is a great watch for Triumph fans.

 

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Really enjoyed The Killing. Was an excellent heist film, and one that will stand up to repeated viewings.

There are a lot of moving parts, and they never really explain the heist details too much, so you're left to figure out who does what when, which i thought was fun. For example, we have George, who's getting paid to open a door. That's it - that's his job. If they explained his role earlier, then I missed it (oh, he also had to map out the place with the bartender). 

I didn't pick up a homosexual vibe from Marvin and Johnny. The conversation is a little odd I suppose, but I think it was more implying they both find someone, get married, etc. Sterling Hayden was great in this. I had also recently watched the Asphalt Jungle, which also had Hayden in a prominent role, and I wondered why he didn't achieve the status of some of his colleagues. I read his bio tonight, and it seems as though he didn't think much of acting (hated it really), so that's probably it. But he's really good in these kinds of films from that era.  On a later note, I'm a huge Godfather fan, and I had no idea he was also McCluskey - never put it together until I saw IMDB credits.

These two films did pair well (kudos to whoever put that together). Different takes on a group of guys, a nosy woman,  and a bag full of money. This one was probably more Noir, and it'll wind up in hard copy in my collection.   

 

 

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1 hour ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

So, according to my memory and the script, it never shows him getting paid, but I think that it is safe to assume that he got him money before things went bad.

If that is the case, and Johnny was right about the punishment Mo would face, then, I say .... "Maurice for the WIN!" 😎

You go, Mo. 👍

In my mind, Mo got paid. You go, Mo indeed!

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Fantastic observations and discussion in here.  I never got around to a rewatch, so feel like I can't contribute anything, but now I'll rewatch sometime with all your comments in mind to enhance my viewing.

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The Killing is a good little movie that owes some of its reputation to the involvement of Kubrick and co-writer Jim Thompson.  Without them, it might be lost among many other similar 50s film noirs. 

Kubrick was clearly working under a tight budget but still is able to show his ambitions went beyond B-movies.  The paired tracking shots through the walls and furniture of Fay and Peatty's apartments were over in 5 seconds but were very cool.  The closely cropped long telephoto shot of the horses on the track was memorable and is echoed near the end as Johnny walks through the racetrack crowd.  The lighting in the interior scenes is always interesting.  I liked the way they framed Johnny with images of prison bars, either with shadows on the wall or shot from behind the headboard.

The movie races by at a brisk 84 minutes and I think suffers a bit because of it.  There's not enough of Thompson's purple dialog and some characters are barely developed.  A number of scenes (although not the wrestling one) could have been extended a little.  The robbery itself is over before you know what happened.   I did find the shootout between Sherry's husband and boyfriend to be refreshingly brief.  A 21st century movie would have made a meal out of that scene.

It's been a long time since I've seen The Killing.  Although it wasn't quite as good as I remembered, it still holds up well as film noir and a heist movie. 

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8 hours ago, Eephus said:

 I did find the shootout between Sherry's husband and boyfriend to be refreshingly brief.  A 21st century movie would have made a meal out of that scene.

Yea, as a rule, old time movie shootouts tended to be brief, but this one took the cake. There must have been a magic JFK bullet for all the dead bodies a few shots produced. 

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11 voters so far. Sadly quite a few who didn’t watch The Killing. Not Kubrick fans? No time? No Amazon? 

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12 hours ago, jwb said:

Really enjoyed The Killing. Was an excellent heist film, and one that will stand up to repeated viewings.

There are a lot of moving parts, and they never really explain the heist details too much, so you're left to figure out who does what when, which i thought was fun. For example, we have George, who's getting paid to open a door. That's it - that's his job. If they explained his role earlier, then I missed it (oh, he also had to map out the place with the bartender). 

I didn't pick up a homosexual vibe from Marvin and Johnny. The conversation is a little odd I suppose, but I think it was more implying they both find someone, get married, etc. Sterling Hayden was great in this. I had also recently watched the Asphalt Jungle, which also had Hayden in a prominent role, and I wondered why he didn't achieve the status of some of his colleagues. I read his bio tonight, and it seems as though he didn't think much of acting (hated it really), so that's probably it. But he's really good in these kinds of films from that era.  On a later note, I'm a huge Godfather fan, and I had no idea he was also McCluskey - never put it together until I saw IMDB credits.

These two films did pair well (kudos to whoever put that together). Different takes on a group of guys, a nosy woman,  and a bag full of money. This one was probably more Noir, and it'll wind up in hard copy in my collection.   

 

 

Hayden wrote a novel, a tale of the sea, that i read during a business trip backinday, and enjoyed thoroughly

 

ETA: thought i had another week, for some reason. Re-watched Killing (liked it well but less), will try to re-watch the other tonite. i like to find comparisons so wont comment til i've done both. sry bout the delay

Edited by wikkidpissah

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

11 voters so far. Sadly quite a few who didn’t watch The Killing. Not Kubrick fans? No time? No Amazon? 

It says 17 have voted, but only 12 when you add up the votes?

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This was my first time watching A Simple Plan.  It came out in the late 90s when I was stuck watching kids movies.  There's a lot to like about the film but I didn't think it was particularly noirish.  It lacked many of the visual characteristics of film noir such as the expressionistic use of light and shadow, claustrophobic close-cropped interior shots, etc.  With all the new fallen snow, it challenged the films based on Stieg Larsson's novels as the brightest film noirs ever made.  When the scenes leading up to the deaths of Lou and Mrs. Lou happened, I thought "ah, the film is going to start in light and get progressively darker" but that didn't happen.

The central characters were certainly corrupt but they weren't cynical or sinister enough to inhabit a film noir world.  Film noir often deals with protagonists drawn inexorably into darkness by fate or evil but in A Simple Plan their downfall was mostly caused by stupidity.  The trio's bungling did keep the convoluted plot moving along and I guess may have generated some empathy from the audience but I found it more frustrating than anything else.  Apparently Hank's descent is much more complete in the novel than in the film version but since Scott Smith wrote the screenplay, I can't blame Hollywood for softening the edge.

Aside from my niggling objections that it wasn't noir enough, A Simple Plan is a fine piece of entertainment.  The actors are excellent and the closed universe is well realized.  Raimi's direction is effective more than showy which fits the small town environment.

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25 minutes ago, Eephus said:

This was my first time watching A Simple Plan.  It came out in the late 90s when I was stuck watching kids movies.  There's a lot to like about the film but I didn't think it was particularly noirish.  It lacked many of the visual characteristics of film noir such as the expressionistic use of light and shadow, claustrophobic close-cropped interior shots, etc.  With all the new fallen snow, it challenged the films based on Stieg Larsson's novels as the brightest film noirs ever made.  When the scenes leading up to the deaths of Lou and Mrs. Lou happened, I thought "ah, the film is going to start in light and get progressively darker" but that didn't happen.

The central characters were certainly corrupt but they weren't cynical or sinister enough to inhabit a film noir world.  Film noir often deals with protagonists drawn inexorably into darkness by fate or evil but in A Simple Plan their downfall was mostly caused by stupidity.  The trio's bungling did keep the convoluted plot moving along and I guess may have generated some empathy from the audience but I found it more frustrating than anything else.  Apparently Hank's descent is much more complete in the novel than in the film version but since Scott Smith wrote the screenplay, I can't blame Hollywood for softening the edge.

Aside from my niggling objections that it wasn't noir enough, A Simple Plan is a fine piece of entertainment.  The actors are excellent and the closed universe is well realized.  Raimi's direction is effective more than showy which fits the small town environment.

I think this gets at the unanswerable question of what is noir. If it’s shadows, dark interiors, off kilter angles, etc than Simple Plan ain’t it. If noir is the cynical, the sense of dread, menace, a world corrupted and characters who have lost control of their world and who’s best attempts to control it only seal their fates than I think it’s perfect neo noir.

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I just don't care for "The Killing" but especially when compared to "Asphalt Jungle". Kubrick was still emerging as a director, for sure, and doesn't hold up well against the storytelling of a master like John Huston here. There a few minor noirs that I like including "Hollow Triumph" with Paul Henreid from "Casablanca" . There's always "The Lady from Shanghai" if you can forgive Orson Welles hammy acting here.

As for other noir films of more recent vintages (that aren't Coen Bros) I'd recommend "Red Rock West" with Dennis Hopper and Nic Cage, "The Last Seduction" with Linda Fiorentino, "After Dark, My Sweet" with Jason Patric, Rachel Ward, and Bruce Dern. There's a neat Aussie film called "The Square" that's from the Edgerton boys there in Oz that fits noir genre too.

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26 minutes ago, saintfool said:

I just don't care for "The Killing" but especially when compared to "Asphalt Jungle". Kubrick was still emerging as a director, for sure, and doesn't hold up well against the storytelling of a master like John Huston here. There a few minor noirs that I like including "Hollow Triumph" with Paul Henreid from "Casablanca" . There's always "The Lady from Shanghai" if you can forgive Orson Welles hammy acting here.

As for other noir films of more recent vintages (that aren't Coen Bros) I'd recommend "Red Rock West" with Dennis Hopper and Nic Cage, "The Last Seduction" with Linda Fiorentino, "After Dark, My Sweet" with Jason Patric, Rachel Ward, and Bruce Dern. There's a neat Aussie film called "The Square" that's from the Edgerton boys there in Oz that fits noir genre too.

Dissenting opinions are welcome. I’ll also say The Killing is far from my favorite noir or Kubrick. This selection was more of a melding or what’s available on streaming and what would pair well. 

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

Dissenting opinions are welcome. I’ll also say The Killing is far from my favorite noir or Kubrick. This selection was more of a melding or what’s available on streaming and what would pair well. 

I know it's a challenge and mostly unenviable at that. What's the next in the series selection genre-wise, btw?

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5 minutes ago, saintfool said:

I know it's a challenge and mostly unenviable at that. What's the next in the series selection genre-wise, btw?

 Come back Thursday night to find out 

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And me.

What about me?  - Bridget Fonda in A Simple Plan

 

I'm tired.

In re-watching it, i was instantly reminded how much i loved ASP first time around, but i can't abide it 20 yrs later.

The Noirvember films are well-connected - taking 'crime doesn't pay' literally, in the proud tradition of Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  I've liked The Killing well enough every time i've seen it, enjoying Kubrick's ability to heighten reality right out of the box, joining the dawn of an era where the best movies ever made resulted from similar techniques. And i remembered marveling over the savage wit & conceptions of A Simple Plan, seeing it as a comedy of exponentially-expanding errors.

But it's not funny anymore, because i'm old enough to realize that venality is as tragic as mortality. Every aspect of fulfillment, except enjoyment of my own imagination, in my life has been derailed by the petty improvisations of selfish people. I'd be happy to bet anyone $10,000 they can't find a single soul who'll testify that they treated me better than i treated them, yet i am ultimately alone because i won't cooperate in the delusions of others. Unluckily stuck in this frozen tomb, i get to bear daily witness how bitterness tells all of one's secrets if you get old enough. And it ain't funny no more. Noir enough for you?

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